Latest Hugo Chavez News

  • Venezuela's Maduro, opposition spar in crisis talks
    Venezuela's Maduro, opposition spar in crisis talks Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders traded barbs during six hours of nationally televised talks that ended at dawn Friday, a rocky first attempt to end deadly anti-government protests. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro meets opposition as death toll from protests rises
    Venezuela's Maduro meets opposition as death toll from protests rises Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Diego Ore and Daniel Wallis CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cautioned opposition leaders to keep their expectations modest on Thursday as he hosted them for mediated talks intended to stem two months of deadly political unrest. Maduro has held similar meetings previously but this was the first to include Henrique Capriles, who Maduro narrowly beat in last year's presidential election, and the first to be brokered by foreign ministers from the Unasur bloc of South American governments. More »

  • Venezuela's Maduro, opposition to talk, unrest death toll hits 40
    Venezuela's Maduro, opposition to talk, unrest death toll hits 40 Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro was due to host Venezuelan opposition leaders on Thursday at the start of mediated talks intended to stem two months of political unrest that has killed dozens in the OPEC nation. Some hardline opposition groups, including the party of jailed protest leader Leopoldo Lopez, are boycotting Thursday's scheduled talks while dozens of demonstrators remain in jail. The meeting, brokered by foreign ministers from the Unasur bloc of South American governments, was due to start at 5 p.m. (1030 pm BST) at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas and be broadcast live on state TV. "Miraflores will tremble," said opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who narrowly lost to Maduro in last year's election to replace late socialist leader Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Little trust as Venezuela, opposition prepare for talks
    Little trust as Venezuela, opposition prepare for talks Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was to sit down for the first time Thursday with opposition leaders, in a bid to end weeks of deadly street protests against his beleaguered government. More »

  • Venezuela prepares for talks aimed at ending crisis
    Venezuela prepares for talks aimed at ending crisis Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela's opposition leaders are to meet Thursday for talks aimed at ending two months of deadly anti-government protests. More »

  • Venezuela reaches out to Vatican No. 2 to mediate crisis
    Venezuela reaches out to Vatican No. 2 to mediate crisis Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government formally invited Vatican No. 2 Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Wednesday to mediate talks with the opposition in hopes of stemming violence that has killed dozens in the nation's worst unrest in a decade. In a letter, President Nicolas Maduro's government asked that Parolin, a former envoy to Venezuela who is now the Vatican's secretary of state, be named a "good faith witness" to a dialogue agreed after two months of protests. A Vatican spokesman confirmed the Roman Catholic Church's willingness to mediate, but gave no details. Venezuela's opposition coalition had indicated that current Vatican envoy, Aldo Giordano, would be attending the first formal talks, which are to start on Thursday in Caracas. More »

  • Venezuela asks Vatican official to witness crisis talks
    Venezuela asks Vatican official to witness crisis talks Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Venezuela said Wednesday it had formally invited the Vatican's secretary of state to be a "good faith witness" to talks on ending two months of deadly anti-government protests. More »

  • Maduro to meet Venezuela opposition in bid to end crisis
    Maduro to meet Venezuela opposition in bid to end crisis Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition coalition representatives agreed to hold talks on ending two months of anti-government protests that have left 39 people dead in their oil-rich nation. More »

  • Venezuela government and foes talk; Vatican to mediate
    Venezuela government and foes talk; Vatican to mediate Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    By Diego Ore and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro's government and Venezuela's main opposition group agreed on Tuesday to begin talks intended to halt the nation's worst political unrest in a decade. Representatives of the Vatican and South American regional bloc Unasur will mediate, both sides said. Clashes between security forces and pro-government militants on one side, and hooded opposition demonstrators blocking streets on the other, have killed 39 people since mid-February, according to official figures. The dead have included government supporters, opponents, and members of the security forces. More »

  • Venezuela opposition to join exploratory talks with government
    Venezuela opposition to join exploratory talks with government Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    By Eyanir Chinea and Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition said it agreed to attend exploratory talks on Tuesday with President Nicolas Maduro's government in a bid to end the country's worst political unrest for a decade. Clashes between security forces and pro-government militants on one side and hooded opposition demonstrators blocking streets on the other have killed at least 39 people since mid-February. Foreign ministers from the regional Union of South American Nations (Unasur) are in the capital Caracas, shuttling between meetings with the administration and opposition and seeking to persuade both sides to talk. Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, a top opposition official, said the Unasur ministers told them the government was open to opposition demands, including the presence of a "good faith" mediator at any substantive discussions. More »

  • Maduro agrees to negotiations in protest-hit Venezuela
    Maduro agrees to negotiations in protest-hit Venezuela Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    President Nicolas Maduro agreed to meet with a Venezuelan opposition delegation on Tuesday, after a fresh push from top diplomats from across South America. More »

  • UN concern over 'high human cost' of Venezuela protests
    UN concern over 'high human cost' of Venezuela protests Sat, Apr 5, 2014

    The United Nations office in Venezuela expressed deep concern Saturday over the "high human cost" of anti-government protests which have left 39 people dead during two months of unrest. More »

  • Venezuela charges opposition leader, protests erupt
    Venezuela charges opposition leader, protests erupt Sat, Apr 5, 2014

    Protests erupted in Caracas late Friday after Venezuela's attorney general charged jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez with responsibility for anti-government demonstrations that have shaken the country since February. More »

  • Catholic Church blasts Venezuela for 'brutal repression' of protest …
    Catholic Church blasts Venezuela for 'brutal repression' of protest … Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    Venezuela's Roman Catholic Church accused President Nicolas Maduro's government on Wednesday of "totalitarian" tendencies and "brutal repression" of demonstrators during two months of political unrest that has killed several dozen people. The surprisingly strong attack is likely to revive church-state tensions that were constant during the 14-year socialist rule of Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Monsignor Diego Padron, who heads Venezuela's conference of bishops, said the "principal cause" of the crisis was the government's attempt to implant a blueprint for government that Chavez left behind called "the fatherland plan." "Within it they are hiding the promotion of a totalitarian-style system of government, putting in doubt its democratic credentials," he said, reading a church communique. More »

  • Venezuela government seeks 'totalitarian' regime
    Venezuela government seeks 'totalitarian' regime Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    The Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela accused the leftist administration of President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday of seeking to impose a "totalitarian government" and blaming it for protests shaking the country. More »

  • Venezuela's 'skyscraper slum' provides haven for poor
    Venezuela's 'skyscraper slum' provides haven for poor Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    By Andrew Cawthorne and Jorge Silva CARACAS (Reuters) - It boasts a helicopter landing pad, glorious views of the Avila mountain range, and large balconies for weekend barbecues. Yet this 45-storey skyscraper in the centre of Venezuela's capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum, probably the tallest in the world. Dubbed the "Tower of David", it was intended to be a shining new financial centre but was abandoned around 1994 after the death of its developer - financier and horse-breeder David Brillembourg - and a massive run on Venezuela's banking sector. Squatters seized the huge concrete skeleton in 2007, then-President Hugo Chavez's socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call the tower their home. More »

  • Venezuela Ministry Torched By Protesters
    Venezuela Ministry Torched By Protesters Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    Several people, including a young girl, have been rescued from Venezuela's Housing Ministry after it was set on fire by anti-government protesters. Maria Corina Machado tried to march to the National Assembly to retake her seat after she was expelled for trying to speak before the Organisation of American States (OAS) about her country's political crisis. President Nicolas Maduro's government has faced a wave of street protests, which have seen 39 people killed as the public vents anger over soaring crime, high inflation and shortages of essential goods. Backed by 22 opposition deputies, she shouted: "You will not break us! You will make us stronger! You will give us more reasons to fight!" and claimed that the block on her taking her seat was "proof that there is a dictatorship in Venezuela". More »

  • Venezuelan police block opposition lawmaker's return
    Venezuelan police block opposition lawmaker's return Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    Venezuelan police blocked an opposition lawmaker from returning to the legislature to retake her seat and fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of her supporters. More »

  • Venezuela death toll rises to 39 amid new protests
    Venezuela death toll rises to 39 amid new protests Sat, Mar 29, 2014

    The death toll from several weeks of protests that have paralyzed Venezuela rose to 39 on Saturday after two more people died in separate incidents, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said. More »

  • Fidel, Chavez moment after failed 2002 coup captured
    Fidel, Chavez moment after failed 2002 coup captured Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez shared their amazement and joy upon the triumphal return to power of the late Venezuelan leader after a brief coup in 2002, an exchange vividly captured in a transcript released Friday. More »

  • Brazil grows wary of Venezuela under Maduro, reduces support
    Brazil grows wary of Venezuela under Maduro, reduces support Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    By Brian Winter SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil, Latin America's biggest economy and diplomatic power, has toned down its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro because of disappointment over how he is handling mounting economic problems and opposition-led street protests. Broadly speaking, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains an ally of Maduro. While Rousseff is more moderate, both are part of a generation of leftist Latin American presidents who grew up opposing pro-Washington governments and believe they are united by a mission to help the poor. However, Rousseff has been increasingly disappointed by some of Maduro's actions and has reined in the more enthusiastic support that characterized Brazil-Venezuela relations under his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, according to two officials close to Rousseff's government. More »

  • Venezuela: Crossword Puzzles Accused of Inciting Opposition Protests
    Venezuela: Crossword Puzzles Accused of Inciting Opposition Protests Fri, Mar 28, 2014

    Venezuela's information minister has called for an investigation into crossword puzzles in a local newspaper that has allegedly incited violent protests with conspiratorial messages. Delcy Rodriguez tweeted: "El Aragueno daily sends encrypted messages linked to the conspiracy and violence in its crosswords! We have requested an investigation." Street protests in Venezuela flared in the last two months, with the opposition blaming the government's left-wing policies of president Nicolas Maduro for high inflation, crime and shortage of many household staples. Opposition MP Maria Corina Machado returned to the capital Caracas after the National Assembly stripped her of her parliamentary immunity. More »

  • Opposition group ready to talk in crisis-hit Venezuela
    Opposition group ready to talk in crisis-hit Venezuela Thu, Mar 27, 2014

    A moderate Venezuelan opposition group said it was ready to talk to the protest-hit government of President Nicolas Maduro, in a rare potential step forward following weeks of unrest. More »

  • Venezuela arrests three generals for alleged coup plot
    Venezuela arrests three generals for alleged coup plot Wed, Mar 26, 2014

    Three Venezuelan air force generals accused of plotting a coup against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro were arrested, amid a widening crackdown on the opposition. More »

  • Venezuela arrests three air force generals 'plotting coup' Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    By Daniel Wallis and Eyanir Chinea CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela has arrested three air force generals accused of plotting a coup in league with opposition politicians during the country's rumbling civil unrest, the president said on Tuesday. In recent years, Venezuela's socialist government has routinely accused its rivals of scheming to seize power by force and assassinate its leaders, although it has rarely followed up with concrete proof of such headline-grabbing claims. "Last night we captured three generals ... who tried to raise the air force against the legitimate, constitutional government," President Nicolas Maduro said on state TV during a meeting with South American foreign ministers in Caracas. They were saying that this would be the decisive week ... in the belief that Venezuela did not know how to defend itself." Hardline protesters are demanding that Maduro resign, while he says they are seeking a coup like the one 12 years ago that briefly ousted his predecessor and mentor, the late Hugo Chavez. More »

  • Soldier, pregnant woman killed in Venezuela unrest Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    By Daniel Wallis CARACAS (Reuters) - A pregnant woman was shot dead near Caracas and a soldier was killed in the western state of Merida, officials said, as the death toll from weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela rose to 36 on Monday. Supporters of both sides and members of the security forces have been among those killed in the nation's worst unrest in a decade, sparked by demonstrations against socialist President Nicolas Maduro that began last month. Francisco Garces, mayor of Guaicaipuro municipality near the capital and a member of the ruling Socialist Party, said the 28-year-old pregnant woman was shot dead on Sunday during a protest. "We categorically reject the demonstrations that caused this death," Garces told reporters. More »

  • Ousted lawmaker brands Venezuela's Maduro 'desperate'
    Ousted lawmaker brands Venezuela's Maduro 'desperate' Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    An ousted Venezuelan lawmaker hit back at President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, accusing the government of desperation after she was effectively fired for raising the country's deadly political crisis. More »

  • Venezuela Protests: Pregnant Woman Shot Dead
    Venezuela Protests: Pregnant Woman Shot Dead Mon, Mar 24, 2014

    A pregnant woman has been shot dead during an anti-government rally in Venezuela's capital, Caracas. The woman, named as Adriana Urquiola, was five-months pregnant. At least 34 people have been killed in recent protests against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government.  Protesters have been further angered by reports of police brutality and the arrests of demonstrators. More »

  • U.S. embassy limits visas for Venezuelans amid diplomatic tension Mon, Mar 24, 2014

    The U.S. embassy in Venezuela said on Sunday it is suspending appointments for new tourist visas due to a lack of personnel following the expulsion of consular staff last month. The government of President Nicolas Maduro in February kicked out three consular officers on charges they were recruiting students to participate in anti-government protests that have sparked the country's deadliest unrest in a decade. The State Department denied those accusations. The embassy said that because of the expulsions and the delays in approval to bring in new consular officers, it no longer has sufficient staff to process first-time tourist visa requests. More »

  • Venezuela police facing murder probe: attorney general
    Venezuela police facing murder probe: attorney general Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    Venezuela's attorney general admitted Sunday that demonstrators have been abused during weeks of protests that have rocked the country and 60 complaints, including murder allegations against police, are being probed. More »

  • Comment: Why is Latin America Rioting?
    Comment: Why is Latin America Rioting? Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    From recent media coverage, you could be forgiven for thinking the whole of Central and South America was descending into chaos. In Venezuela, where at least 33 people have died in the last month of street unrest, protesters are demanding an end to rampant corruption, high food prices and one of the world's highest murder rates. In Chile's capital Santiago, 150,000 people from all walks of life were marching to demand quicker political reform. Venezuela is headed by former bus driver Nicolás Maduro, who took over when Hugo Chavez died in March 2013. More »

  • Tear gas fired in fresh Venezuela protests
    Tear gas fired in fresh Venezuela protests Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    Police fired tear gas and made several arrests as 20,000 people marched in the Venezuelan capital Caracas against what they say is President Nicolas Maduro's heavy-handed repression of dissent. More »

  • Venezuela death toll rises to 34 as troops and protesters clash
    Venezuela death toll rises to 34 as troops and protesters clash Sun, Mar 23, 2014

    By Diego Ore and Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Three Venezuelans died from gunshot wounds during protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, witnesses and local media said on Saturday, pushing the death toll from almost two months of anti-government demonstrations to 34. Troops briefly clashed with a small group of protesters who attempted to block a highway in an upscale neighbourhood of Caracas after thousands of opposition sympathizers marched to demand the release of students imprisoned during the unrest. Demonstrators complaining of soaring prices and product shortages have vowed to remain in the streets until Maduro resigns, although there are few signs that the country's worst turmoil in a decade will force him from office. Argenis Hernandez, 26, was shot in the abdomen as he was demonstrating near a barricade in the central city of Valencia and died early on Saturday in a nearby hospital, according to local media reports. More »

  • Venezuela protest death toll rises to 33
    Venezuela protest death toll rises to 33 Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    By Diego Ore and Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Two Venezuelans died from gunshot wounds during protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, witnesses and local media said on Saturday, pushing the death toll from almost two months of anti-government demonstrations to 33. Demonstrators complaining of soaring prices and product shortages have vowed to remain in the streets until Maduro resigns, although there are few signs that the country's worst turmoil in a decade will force him from office. Argenis Hernandez, 26, was shot in the abdomen as he was demonstrating near a barricade in the central city of Valencia and died early on Saturday in a nearby hospital, according to local media reports. A motorcyclist attempted to cross the barricade and opened fire on demonstrators when they would not let him through, wounding Hernandez. More »

  • Venezuela's President Maduro: Riots Have Cost $10 Billion
    Venezuela's President Maduro: Riots Have Cost $10 Billion Sat, Mar 22, 2014

    The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, says the riots that have shaken the country in the last month have cost the country $10 billion. At least 31 people have died during the unrest, which has centred mainly on the city of San Cristobal, close to the Colombia border. The mayor of San Cristobal, Daniel Ceballos, has been arrested by the national intelligence service and charged with "civil rebellion". A military college in San Cristobal affiliated with Venezuela's armed forces has been burnt to the ground, an action that led to Maduro making a televised speech in which he fiercely condemned those responsible. More »